Crystal Cove


brochure Crystal Cove - Brochure

Brochure of Crystal Cove State Park (SP) in California. Published by California Department of Parks and Recreation.

Our Mission Crystal Cove State Park The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. The ocean and shoreline, visible from nearly all points along Pacific Coast Highway, dominate the coastal portion of the park. From the high ridges California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (949) 494-3539. If you need this publication in an alternate format, contact CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service Crystal Cove State Park 8471 N. Coast Highway Laguna Beach, CA 92651 (949) 494-3539 © 2004 California State Parks (Rev. 2019) above Moro Canyon, visitors enjoy an expansive view of the ocean, the interior valleys, and the mountain ranges beyond. C rystal Cove State Park’s rolling surf, sandy beaches, tide pools, gently sloping hills, and deeply wooded canyons and ridges provide a delightful contrast to its urban surroundings. Located off busy Pacific Coast Highway between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach, Crystal Cove is one of Orange County’s largest remaining examples of open space and natural seashore. The park’s climate is characterized by moist, foggy summer mornings, with the fog burning off by midmorning to bring warm, sunny days and cool evenings. PARK HISTORy Native People Archaelogical sites and artifacts associated with the Gabrielino (Tongva) and Juaneño (Acjachemen) have been discovered throughout the park. For more than 9,000 years, the Native People established villages in Moro Canyon near two natural springs. Their food sources included waterfowl, fish from the kelp beds and surf zones, and a variety of plants and animals. These first people developed a number of specialized crafts and tools including nets, fishhooks, basketry, stone implements, ritual objects, and tule canoes. With the arrival of Spanish missionaries, the Native People were drawn into the mission system. At Mission San Gabriel and Mission San Juan Capistrano, their way of life changed drastically with the introduction of new religious and agricultural practices. Rancho San Joaquin After José Andrés Sepulveda acquired land from the Mexican government in 1836, Mission San Juan Capistrano’s grazing area became known as Rancho San Joaquin. With the assistance of a Native American workforce, Sepulveda used Moro Canyon’s seasonal pastures for cattle grazing. After 1850, a run of bad luck — along with land title complications — pushed Sepulveda into debt. He sold Rancho San Joaquin in 1864. The Irvine Company San Francisco financier James Irvine and three Northern California ranchers purchased the rancho and stocked it with thousands of sheep. In 1876 Irvine bought out his partners when ranching failed due to droughts, wool infestations, and competitive markets. After Irvine’s death in 1886, sheep ranching continued as other ranching activities developed. James Irvine II inherited the ranch from his father and diversified the agricultural business by leasing land to tenant farmers. He incorporated his land holdings and created the Irvine Company on June 4, 1894. Historic District Japanese Farmers Beginning in 1927, Japanese farmers leased land from the Irvine Company and built homes, barns, and a community center known as Laguna Beach Language School (a building now preserved within the Historic District). Planting hundreds of acres of crops, the farmers sold produce from roadside stands and to Los Angeles markets. Life changed dramatically during World War II, when the Japanese community was sent to an internment camp in Poston, Arizona. As a result, they forever lost their farms and homes along the Crystal Cove hills. Although the Japanese farmers did not return to the area, agriculture and ranching practices continued into the 1970s. Over the years, the Irvine Company leased its land for farming, equestrian use, and cattle grazing. During the early days of State Parks ownership, these activities ended to enhance natural preservation and public recreation. Crystal Cove The Irvine Company also leased the coastal area to filmmakers and vacationers. Palmthatched structures emerged at Crystal Cove, serving as both tropical movie backdrops and beach cottage rentals. Beginning in the 1920s, people traveled the new Pacific Coast Highway to visit the beach. The cove soon became a popular destination to pitch tents or rent cottages. By the late 1930s, the Irvine Company limited the development of the area to the current 46 cottages. In time, long-term leases were made, tent camping was eliminated, and the Crystal Cove community became a private beach. The National Register of Historic Places listed Crystal Cove for its unique vernacular architecture in 1979, the year the Irvine Company sold this land to the State of California. Some of the cottages have been restored by California State Parks and the Crystal Cove Conservancy for public use and enjoyment. Crystal Cove State Park is part of the 40,000acre Irvine Ranch National and California Natural Landmarks. This designation has been bestowed by both the State of California and the U.S. Department of the Interior to recognize the exceptional value of these lands to California and the nation. Please visit for information. Moro Beach and Canyon Tyron’s Camp (a café, auto camp, and tent campground) opened during the 1920s along the beach and inland at Moro Canyon. In the late 1950s, the complex evolved into Miyada family vegetable stand, ca. 1936 a seasonal trailer destination known as El Morro Beach Trailer Park. Later, about 300 permanent manufactured homes replaced seasonal beach trailers in this area. After tenants’ leases expired in 2005, the trailers were removed to develop the Moro Campground and day-use facility. NATURAL HISTORy Coastal Strand The beach’s 3.2 miles are bordered by hardy, fleshy-leafed plants growing low against salt-sprayed dunes. Shoreside tide pools are visible at low tide. Coastal Bluffs At high tide, the surf laps against the base of 80-foot bluffs. Two bluff-top public parking areas, Reef Point and Pelican Point, offer access to the beach. Flora Various plant communities in Crystal Cove State Park include: Coastal Sage Scrub —This dense shrub community spreads across the coastal terrace, along the sides of lower Moro Canyon and upper Moro Canyon, especially on the north-facing reaches. The resinous, highly flammable vegetation regenerates quickly after burning. M OV I E S M A D E AT C RYS TA L C OV E Southern Riparian Woodland—Along the small watershed represented by seasonal Moro Creek, sycamores, oaks, and willows are found. Undergrowth includes elderberry, toyon, and lemonade berry. Fauna The intertidal wildlife includes striped shore crabs, sea hares, and sea anemones. On the bluffs and terraces, ground squirrels, cottontail rabbits, western fence lizards, California kingsnakes, California gnatcatchers, California quail, and deer are found. The park’s open space areas offer habitat for coyotes, bobcats, roadrunners, gopher snakes, western toads, red-tailed hawks, California thrashers, rattlesnakes, and more. Backcountry Trails From the Moro Canyon parking lot, access 2,400 undeveloped acres. The trails are open to hiking, biking, and equestrian use. Maps are available at the ranger station. RECREATION Reservations are imperative for all historic cottages, coastal campsites, and backcountry sites at Crystal Cove State Park. For details and links to site-specific reservations, call (800) 444-7275 or visit the website at Beach Activities Seven separate coves line 3.2 miles of beach, offering spectacular sunbathing, swimming, surfing, diving, fishing, and tide pool viewing. Please do not disturb tide pool habitat. For fishing regulations, visit Coastal Camping Completed in 2011, Moro Campground offers 57 sites with unparalleled ocean views. Hookups serve 27 sites; the other 30 are suitable for tents, tent trailers, or van conversions. Underwater Area The park’s offshore area is part of the Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Backcountry Primitive Camping A fairly strenuous, three- to four-mile uphill hike leads to three separate camping areas. Campers must pack in and out all of their supplies, including water. 1918 Treasure Island 1920 The sea Wolf 1923 sTormsWepT 1927 The Wreck of The hesperus 1928 sadIe Thompson half a BrIde WhITe shadoWs In The souTh seas 1929 The Isle of losT shIps 1932 raIn 1934 Treasure Island 1938 The GreaT hearT 1944 To have and have noT 1951 TWo of a kInd 1974 herBIe rIdes aGaIn 1985 creaTor 1988 Beaches Marine Protected Area and is a haven for marine life and ocean recreational activities. For more information, please visit www. SPECIAL EVENTS The park welcomes special events, including weddings, picnics, parties, and film shoots. For event reservations and permit information, please visit crystalcove/specialevents. LOdgINg ANd FOOd SERVICES The park’s concession partner, Crystal Cove Conservancy, provides food and overnight lodging services at the Beachcomber Café, Crystal Cove Shake Shack, and Crystal Cove Beach Cottages. For more information, please visit and WATER SAFETy TIPS • Swim with a friend — Supervise children closely. Flotation devices are not reliable. • Water-use areas — Swimming, surfing, and kayaking zones are separate from each other; check to make sure your activity is taking place in the proper zone. Contact park staff for additional beach safety information. • Rip currents — If you become caught in a rip current, relax and swim parallel to the shore until the pull stops, and then swim back to shore. If you are unable to return to the beach, tread water and signal for assistance. • Avoid spinal injuries —Do not dive headfirst into the ocean. • Be alert — Never turn your back on the ocean. Sudden waves can sweep you away from shore or tide pool areas. • Follow all safe diving practices—Be properly trained and equipped, check ocean conditions, and always dive with a buddy. NEARBy STATE PARKS • Huntington State Beach, Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) at Beach Blvd. (Highway 39) (714) 536-1454 • D ACCESSIBLE FEATURES Picnicking — Picnic areas and restrooms are accessible. Refer to the park map. Trails —The Bluff Top Trail is paved and accessible. Hikers and cyclists may also enjoy its wildlife and scenic views with interpretive displays. Beach /shore access —Beach wheelchairs are available first-come, first-served. Beach access is at the Crystal Cove Historic District and Moro Beach. Exhibits and programs —The park visitor centers at Moro Canyon and the Historic District are accessible. Food / lodging services — Concession operations are accessible. Three accessible cottages are available for reservation. Accessible parking in the Historic District is limited to guests who reserve an accessible cottage. PLEASE REMEMBER • Park hours are 6 a.m. to sunset daily, year-round. Historic District hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. • Possession of alcohol is prohibited throughout the park, except at the Beachcomber Café and within campsites at Moro Campground. • Dogs must be kept under control at all times and on a leash no more than six-feet long. Pets may be walked on paved areas only. Except for service animals, pets are not permitted on the beach or in the backcountry. • All tide pool specimens are protected by state law. Collection of shells and rocks is prohibited. • All natural, cultural, and historical park resources are protected by law and may not be disturbed or removed. • Stay on established trails. Children and pets should be closely supervised. • Do not climb on or approach the cliff faces — they are unstable and can collapse under you. • No fires are allowed on or in the sand. Hibachis or barbecues are permitted —gas canister type only. Wood or charcoal is not permitted. Open flames are not permitted in the backcountry. • This park receives support in part from a nonprofit organization: Backcountry wilderness area — part of the Irvine Ranch National and California Natural Landmark Crystal Cove Conservancy #5 Crystal Cove Newport Coast, CA 92657 Ridge Park Entrance J Bluff Co as eR d C N e w p o rt HI Fe Deer Canyon nc el in e Re dt LL Tr l a Missi O 1 Mile Surfing Overnight Cottages Food Services Ranger Station Park Building Treasure Cove Tide Pools 1st Reef Cry stal C18 Historic Anchor Bluff Tide Pools Hwy P Top Trail P Blu 2n d C R Y S TA L ff 3.5 Cove Reef Point Historic Anchor Tide 60 S TAT E MARINE Trai l C O N S E RVAT I O N ny ow AREA 18 Trail RID e P a cifi Lifeguard Headquarters Ridg Mo O R O N YO N A c C oast Hwy LAGUNA BEACH 30 60 COAST WILDERNESS PA R K ro Beach Mo r o B eac h LAGUNA M C D AL ER EM il Moro Canyon Tunnel to Day Use P Bluff ge GE Ca N or o M il Tr a R ro Mo D L A R E to Laguna Beach e dg B.F.I. Rid o ’N Tra il ID Bluff Scotchman’s Cove Split Rock 30 COVE gs Moro Campground 1 Moro Cove Overlook Pools ee f Do Berns Environmental Study Loop El Morro School Reef Point Entrance ath Pacific Coast Rocky Bight o ve ast H wy P Mud CRYSTAL COVE PROMENADE Bluff Bluff Bluff Pelican Point 3rd R Crystal Cove Historic District Trail see C Histo rystal Cov detail ric Distri e ct map abov e ef Bluff P lk Path int po ew Bluff Vi Tide Pools Top Board w a NEWPORT BEACH P Re Bluff P P a ir p P Tunnel to Beach St Los Trancos Pacific Coast Hwy Entrance o dy Ne 1 Pelican Point Entrance N Moro Visitor Center l Laguna Beach Water District wp o a Co C RY S TA L C O V E S TAT E PA R K NEWPORT COAST Canyon Co r c 1 Trancos rt D st Upper Moro Ridge Rid G E ge Abalone Point Tra i 0.5 Miles 0.8 Kilometers LAGUNA BEACH if i ro Viewpoint Picnic Area il yon Trail Can Parking Ea sy tron Tick e ke st M E Pa c Lo s 0.4 0.6 ro AREA Diving PELICAN HILL RESORT Little Treasure Cove a Tr ge Tr a Restrooms Locked Gate P Mo Rid Ri Horse Staging Area Trail Mo Accessible Feature Campground: Environmental Water Depth (feet) Marine Conservation Area oas t Hw y Ca o C O N S E R V AT I O N Campground O Ea Trail MARINE 1.5 Kilometers Y Lower Moro Ridge A cr os s Moro 1.0 0.5 M Canyon Boardwalk Pac i fic C Moro Campground . F.I Trail: Multi-use 0.3 0.75 0.5 = Special Event Venue For permit details visit Trail: Hike & Bike 0.4 Moro Visitor Center El Morro School B. 0 Trail: Hike 0.2 0.25 O C ut ro 0 Trail: Accessible 0.2 y S T AT E Unpaved Road R O Trail on Paved Road Hw Reef Point COVE Major Hwy 0.1 st C R Y S TA L M o s s Trl r n ge CRYSTAL COVE ci fic PROMENADE oa N S TAT E PA R K Poles see Crystal Cove Historic District detail map above Freeway 0 W cr Crystal Cove Historic District Camp Pendleton USMC Legend 0 No Na m eR n C 60 Y Trail San Clemente Parking Area No Dogs 5 ea A C RY S TA L C O V E A Oc Capistrano 10 Miles 10 15 Kilometers P Los Trancos Pelican Point ic Pa 5 cif 73 San Juan Dana Point 5 0 Pa se e SM Cry m CA sta ap d l C be eta ov low il e Cleveland National Forest Sl C ut t C 241 Irvine 1 N es 405 Crystal Cove SP Santa Catalina Island 0 15 Santa Ana Newport Beach O Muddy Ridge Entrance 91 55 22 Long Beach Huntington Beach Dr Y id Anaheim w p o r t Co a s t D 1 Ne N D 5 Pío Pico SHP 1 60 Chino Hills SP 57 710 110 Pomona 605 A MU Los 405 Angeles C ny 10 10 NEWPORT COAST Ra tt l e s na PELICAN HILL RESORT Tr ail wy 134 5 me ng Tra il C AN tH TR as S Co O ic L 101 c if Pasadena 73 il Burbank Pa ad Tra CORONA DEL MAR STATE BEACH ll R o S Bom S Ocean ON in To il k Tra Pacific Y AN oa q u Abalone Point © 2011 California State Parks (Rev. 2019) Map by Eureka Cartography, Berkeley, CA tD dg Sa n J Ta il Beach Ri IN Ri d ge ta QU Irvine Ranch National Natural Landmark No Name Ridge Trail South Bo mm er il 13 Film and Media Center OA Lin 150 Meters d il r Tra 0 th R oa 22 o vat Ele 500 Feet Ridge Park State Park N il N or 0 SA a Tr k i n H i lls Rd e dwal Boar B ea c h oa q u dg 11 Bluff Park and Marine Research Facility nJ s 7 8 3 31 Bea 21 14 16 17 Sa Crystal Cove 73 Vi 6 12 ch Pro Shake Shack ast Hwy C r e ek 9 4 19 2 40 1 27 Beachcomber 24 Café 46 Exhibit e Center menad 33 38 32 ranco s Los T 10 23 28 25 20 36 Bluff 26 30 39 29 18 Trail 37 Pedestrian Bridge y Pacific Co To p Ri P 35 Overnight Check in y r Education Commons 5 a Crystal Cove irw Conservancy Sta Headquarters Cultural 34 Center Stairwa R E N O P P 1 Bluff Visitor Center/ Interpretive Store M M Y O B AN C to Entrance Station 45 as t D r Garage p or t Co HISTORIC DISTRICT New to pedestrian underpass to Los Trancos Parking and Sector Office C R Y S TA L C O V E

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